Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sauce Tomate (Tomato Sauce)

Sauce Tomate (Tomato Sauce) is one of the five French "mother sauces" that are the foundation of hundreds of other sauces. As is, it's pretty basic; but it can be seasoned to make an Italian marinara sauce, Spanish tomato sauce, a Creole sauce, and many other tomato based sauces.

2-3 oz salt pork (like bacon, but not smoked; the fattier the better!)
2 T butter
1 C mirepoix (½ C chopped onion, ¼ C each chopped carrot and celery)
6 T flour
5 lbs (about 10 C) tomatoes, chopped*
1 qt white veal (or vegetable) stock
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
1 T sugar
salt and pepper to taste

* Fresh is always ideal, but using canned tomatoes works too

Render salt pork.  (How to “render” the salt pork: Place salt pork in a sauté pan with a tablespoon of water, cover with a lid over medium heat for 3-6 minutes, watch closely – don’t let it burn. The salt pork should nearly melt away…leaving the fat/grease. Water keeps it from browning or burning.)

Add butter, carrots and onions; sweat over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender and fragrant.

Sprinkle flour over vegetables, and cook an additional few minutes, stirring continually. (This is a blond roux.) 

Combine roux and tomatoes in a stock pot; continue to cook until tomatoes are soft and have released liquid. (If using canned tomatoes, all you really need to do is bring the mixture to a simmer.) Add stock and garlic clove. Cover pot with lid and simmer 1½ to 2 hours.

Add sugar (to balance the acidity of the tomatoes; not to make it sweet), salt and pepper.

Variations: If a smooth tomato sauce is desired, purée with an immersion blender. If a cream sauce tomate is desired, 1-2 cups of heavy cream can be added.

No comments: